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PSYC 1300 General Psychology

PSYC 1300 General Psychology is our introductory course and prerequisite for nearly all of our other psychology courses. It provides students with the foundations of behavioral science. All sections of the course include the following learning objectives:

HISTORY AND SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATIONS

  • What is psychology?
    • Definition of psychology as a science
    • The difference between the following psychological perspectives:
      • Gestalt
      • Psychoanalysis/Psychodynamic
      • Behaviorism
      • Humanistic
      • Positive Psychology and Multicultural/Diversity
      • Cognitive/Cognitivism
      • Biological/Evolutionary
  • The Goals of Science
    • Description
    • Explanation
    • Prediction
    • Control
  • Research Methods
    • The difference between the following research methods, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each:
      • Naturalistic observation
      • Case study
      • Survey
      • Experimental research
      • Correlational research
    • Internal and External Validity
    • The difference between an independent variable and a dependent variable
    • The difference between an experimental condition and a control condition
    • The difference between a positive and negative correlation
    • The difference between correlation and causation
  • Research Ethics
    • The following aspects of ethical research on humans:
      • Informed consent
      • Debriefing
      • Minimizing physical or psychological pain to subjects
    • How animal rights are weighed against benefits to society in research on animals

 

PSYCHOBIOLOGICAL PROCESSES

  • Organization and Overview of Communication Systems
    • Central and peripheral nervous systems
    • Endocrine system
  • • Communication in the Nervous System
    • The following parts of a neuron and their functions:
      • Dendrites
      • Soma
      • Axon
    • What an action potential is and how it is accomplished
    • How communication between neurons is accomplished
    • The following components of communication between neurons:
      • The synapse
      • Neurotransmitters
      • Receptors
  • The Brain
    • The functions of the following brain structures:
      • Limbic system
      • Thalamus
      • Hypothalamus
    • The major functions of the left hemisphere
    • The major functions of the right hemisphere
    • The location and function of the corpus callosum
    • The location and major functions of the following areas of the cerebral cortex:
      • Frontal lobes
      • Parietal lobes
      • Occipital lobes
      • Temporal lobes
  • The Physiological Basis of Sensation
    • What transduction is
    • How transduction is accomplished by the eye
    • How transduction is accomplished by the ear

 

LEARNING AND COGNITION

  • Perceptual Processes
    • The difference between sensation and perception
    • The definition of perceptual constancy
    • The Gestalt principles of figure-ground discrimination
    • The difference between monocular and binocular depth cues
  • Learning
    • Classical Conditioning
      • The process of classical conditioning and the difference between the following components of classical conditioning:
        • Unconditioned stimulus (US)
        • Unconditioned response (UR)
        • Conditioned stimulus (CS)
        • Conditioned response (CR)
      • Extinction
      • The difference between generalization and discrimination
    • Operant conditioning
      • The difference between reinforcement and punishment
      • The difference between continuous and partial reinforcement
      • Extinction
      • The difference between stimulus generalization and stimulus discrimination
      • The difference between the following schedules of reinforcement:
        • Fixed-ratio
        • Variable-ratio
        • Fixed-interval
        • Variable-interval
  • Memory
    • The difference between encoding, storage, and retrieval
    • The difference between sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory
    • What working memory does and how it differs from short-term memory
    • The difference between semantic and episodic memory
    • The definition of amnesia
    • What it means to say that memory is reconstructive
  • Cognitive Processes
    • Problem-solving strategies

 

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, AND THERAPY

  • Intelligence
    • The definition of Spearman’s g factor vs. multifactor models
    • Alfred Binet’s contribution to the study of intelligence
    • How the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is conceptually based on:
      • Mental age
      • Deviations
    • The difference between validity and the reliability of a test
    • Terman’s contributions to intelligence testing in the U.S.
    • What it means to say that a test is culture-fair
    • The degree to which intelligence is inherited
  • Personality
    • The following aspects of Freud’s psychodynamic theory of personality:
      • The difference between the id, ego, and superego
      • The purpose of defense mechanisms
    • The definition of self-actualization
    • The definition of self-efficacy
    • The difference between an internal and an external locus of control
    • The “Big Five” theory of personality
    • The difference between projective (e.g., Rorschach) and objective (e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) tests of personality
    • The purpose of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
  • Psychopathology
    • The purpose of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV)
    • The definition and characteristics of the following disorders:
      • Psychotic disorders
      • Anxiety disorders
      • Mood disorders
      • Personality Disorders
      • Substance-related disorders
  • Therapies
    • Medical (e.g., medications, electro-convulsive therapy, psychosurgery)
    • Psychological (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, client-centered)
    • Socio-cultural (e.g., group and family therapy)

 

DEVELOPMENTAL AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

  • Issues in the Study of Development
    • The difference between maturation (nature) and learning (nurture)
    • The difference between theories that propose continuity and theories that propose discontinuity
  • Cognitive Development
    • The following aspects of Piaget’s cognitive-developmental theory:
      • The name of each stage
      • The cognitive abilities acquired at each stage
      • The order of the stages
    • How fluid abilities change over the life span
    • How crystallized abilities change over the life span
  • Social/Emotional Development
    • The definition of separation anxiety
    • The definition of attachment
    • The definition of gender-typing
  • Social Psychology
    • The definition of an attitude
    • The definition of cognitive dissonance
    • The definition of an attribution
    • The difference between personal and situational attributions
    • The definition of the fundamental attribution error
    • The definition of the self-serving bias
    • Asch’s research on conformity
    • Milgram’s research on obedience
    • The definition of the bystander effect
    • What diffusion of responsibility is
    • The difference between prejudice and stereotypes